|The Road to Stockholm
A few days before he left to receive his Prize in Sweden, Pauling was given a party
by Caltech. More than 350 people attended, eating a catered dinner, hearing congratulatory
speeches, and watching "The Road to Stockholm," a hilarious series of songs and sketches
put together by Pauling’s students and fellow faculty members. It was a joyous evening,
full of warmth and laughter and generous high spirits.
The Nobel ceremony, which Pauling remembered as "one of the most impressive . . .
held in the modern world," was held in the ornate Stockholm Concert Hall, where Pauling
received his gold Nobel medal from Sweden’s King Gustavus VI.
That evening, Pauling was asked to give an address to a crowd of hundreds of cheering
Swedish university students who had arrived in a torchlight parade to honor the new
Nobelists. His words were reprinted in all the newspapers in the nation: "Perhaps
as one of the older generation, I should preach a little sermon to you, but I do not
propose to do so. I shall, instead, give you a word of advice about how to behave
toward your elders," he said, his voice ringing clearly across the crowded square.
"When an old and distinguished person speaks to you. Listen to him carefully and with
respect — but do not believe him. Never put your trust in anything but your own intellect.
Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or has lost his hair, no matter whether
he is a Nobel Laureate, may be wrong. . . . So you must always be skeptical — always
think for yourself." The students cheered wildly.